Ryan's inner circle includes Romney aides, Hill staffers
August 13th, 2012
04:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan's inner circle includes Romney aides, Hill staffers

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Paul Ryan's inner circle has shaped up to include close Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor as well as familiar faces from Capitol Hill, and the vice presidential candidate even gets his own body man.

By the time the presumptive presidential nominee announced his running mate over the weekend the Romney campaign had already hired or assigned many of the 12-person staff working with the V.P. candidate. Some come from Washington Republican circles, others have worked for or spent time on Capitol Hill with the 13-year congressman from Wisconsin and House Budget Committee chair.

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After a rigorous two-day campaign swing together over the weekend, Romney and Ryan parted ways Sunday evening on an airport tarmac and boarded separate planes destined for swing states. A number of aides, including Senor, joined Ryan on the chartered flight from Milwaukee to Des Moines.

A campaign official told reporters that Senor, who was serving as Romney's foreign policy adviser and had accompanied him on his trip overseas to England, Israel and Poland, has become Ryan's senior adviser. Senor is expected to spend time traveling with the candidate. Senor previously had senior roles within the Bush administration.

Kevin Sheridan was hired as communications director for the vice presidential candidate and he will oversee two spokespeople from House Speaker John Boehner's press shop. Sheridan, who once served as a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, left his job at the public relations firm Edelman to join the campaign.

Around the same time in mid-July Randy Bumps joined the team as director of operations. Bumps was working at the public affairs firm Direct Impact and prior to that he worked for the NRSC and RNC serving as regional political director.

Two staffers from Boehner's office, who have had experience defending Ryan's budget plan and pointing to a legislative record as defense, are his two press secretaries. At the beginning of August, Brendan Buck took a leave from his job in Washington to be the press secretary based at campaign headquarters in Boston. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel's first day as traveling press secretary was Saturday when the big announcement was made.

Buck confirmed to CNN that another Boehner policy aide, Dave Stewart, who was advising Romney on economic policy will be Ryan's policy adviser. Marjorie Connell is the scheduling director, Campbell Matthews the travel coordinator, and Keisha Vaughan is the media affairs manager.

Young Romney staffer Jacob Kastan has taken on the role of Ryan's body man, a position made famous this cycle by Mitt Romney body man Garrett Jackson, thanks in part to the behind-the-scenes photos and updates about "the Gov" that he posts on Twitter. Kastan, who goes by Jake, joined the campaign in March as an advance lead.

Joey Smith has been an advance lead since January and will be Ryan's director of V.P. candidate advance and trip director, or for those who know his Romney counterpart, he said he has the "Charlie Pierce" role but for the vice president.

Smith and Brent Swander, Ryan's director of press advance, both volunteered for the White House advance office when President George W. Bush was in office. Swander, who will work the closest with traveling reporters, also worked on the McCain-Pain presidential campaign in 2008.

Because the Ryan pick was such a closely guarded secret between Romney and longtime aide Beth Myers who led the search effort, many of this core group found out who they were going to work for when everyone else did.

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Filed under: Dan Senor • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Gaz

    The 700 billion dollars is the cost of repealing obamacares. It is actually money saved to extend medicare by 8 years and expand medicare. Ryan found the same 700 billion dollar savings but will use it for tax cuts for the rich. Way to spin it romney. Your liar. 29% honesty. Obama aint no saint with just a 46% honesty rating but willard has to be demon possessed.

    August 14, 2012 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
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